JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- On a peaceful pocket of land off Heckscher Drive, an area the state calls an "aquatic preserve," this past week has been far from idyllic.
"I was fishing about 125 yards away when I got a strong smell of diesel fuel," recalls Russ Kahoe.
This past week multiple people have reported seeing hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel floating in the St. Johns River.
Kahoe came down the neighboring dock to investigate and was shocked at what he saw. He found a rainbow sheen of oil coating the water.
Richard Woodward, who lives across the street, says it has been there every high tide since Monday.
"Over the past few days, we've just seen more and more oil and diesel coming out of the boat polluting the water here," Woodward said.
The boat he's referring to it the "Miss Pauline." It's an old beat-up shrimp boat with a clearly expired permit. Thursday, Woodward took multiple photographs of a man on the boat pumping oily bilge water into the river. He also got cell phone footage of a hose on the boat spraying everywhere.
Afterwords, the rainbow sheen returned.
We also found a mat laying beside the boat completely soaked in oil.
Both Woodward and Kahoe say on Monday they reported the fuel to the Coast Guard. But, they say they were referred up the chain of command to the Washington D.C. office.
"The guy in D.C. acted like we interrupted his card game and wasn't really interested in hearing from us," Woodward said.
After that, they say the called the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office. Police told them to call the Department of Environmental Protection. When they did, they say the DEP referred them to the Fish and Wildlife Commission. Cell phone records show multiple conversations Woodward had with the FWC, but the agency tells Action News they have no record of this complaint in their system.
And by Thursday evening, nothing had been done to fix the problem.
"I want the leak stopped and I want the damage repaired and cleaned up. Stop dumping fuel in my water," Woodward exclaimed.
Action News did reach out to the Coast Guard. They tell us they did come by earlier this week, but didn't see any sheen in the water. But, now that we've alerted them of the situation they're following up further with a formal investigation.